I had to wait for my 21st birthday to get my license to begin selling homes. My 50th anniversary with Kirk & Cobb will be in August 2023. I had to learn creative everything to work with my friends at that young age. Over the years, I have honed my advanced skills in negotiating sane and reasonable deals. My sales were in the top 1-2% of Topeka Realtors’ sales for over forty years. It’s what I do. All day, every day. Today, I am still working hard and going strong.
I have worked so hard for so long that I think people have noticed. I hope you can ask just about anyone about me to hear good things. I think you will hear that my advice is valued by experts. I think you will hear that I am a stickler for all the pesky details that affect Buyers’ and Sellers’ lives in a real estate deal. I can prove my advanced skills, but I hope I am also well known for a caring approach — I hope that I am known for my conscientious devotion to all the folks who pay me the honor of choosing me as their Realtor.
Sellers count on my expertise in advising them about pricing and marketing strategies. I help them show their homes to their best advantage. I have a vast network of friends, contacts, and resources who help me ensure that each seller hears from as many potential buyers as possible, not just the ones who might be easiest to find. I have a great crew trained to stage a house to show to its optimal advantage. I can take over the process of “spiffing” a house to show for the seller who wants to just hand over the keys and get on with their life. I am a coach and a tutor helping my customers understand contract terms and commitments, realistic time lines, and reliable projections of closing costs and net proceeds from a sale.
Buyers count on me to help them to explore all possible options when they are looking for a home. I have lots of information and advice to share about market conditions and selecting a good buy. I have lots of practice in shopping for the best available financing. I have great connections with expert inspectors. I’m a great source for advice about reliable and skilled help for maintaining homes after closing. And I have lots of other resources and networks to help folks get settled in Topeka.
I am thankful for the hundreds (and hundreds) of past customers who have been gratifyingly loyal to me. I am also grateful that I get more than my share of flattering attention from real estate industry affiliates — lenders, title insurance professionals, appraisers, and other Realtors. It was a thrilling affirmation for me when the Topeka Board of Realtors recognized my career achievement by naming me their Salesperson of the Year twice.
Bob and Steve Kirk have been my mentors, the brains behind the scenes in my business since 1973. They taught me to approach every business decision on the basis of “What helps the customer best?” They have been my allies and my advocates through thick and thin. I was lucky to get the best training there is from them. We lost Bob in 2010, but Steve is still backing me up 24/7/365. He is a student of the real estate business on such a profound level that I think he has no peer. He is there for me. He is there for you.
For 30 years, Sheree Smith made my professional life perfect in her role as my assistant. “Assistant” is an inadequate word for all she did for me, for our customers, and for our Topeka real estate industry. She has been a leader in our field. Sheree retired at the end of 2021, but the systems and the innovations she developed for our trade as well as her standards for perfection will endure in our local practices citywide for years to come.
My husband, Dan Crow, is a local real estate attorney — kind of a handy guy to have around and I think the most fun person I have ever met. Our daughter, Samantha, is our pride and joy. Grown and gone now, she has had a series of amazing jobs including four years at Google where she met her husband, Jake Quist. Living in Silicon Valley, they are my tech consultants extraordinaire. Best of ALL, they made us grandparents! More photos of our adorable grandchildren than anyone wants to see are public on my Facebook presence.
My dear parents, Dr. and Mrs. Riley and Ruth Gardner, were my unfailing support in everything I have ever tried to do in my business as well as in my personal life. They paid my rent in the early months of launching my real estate business — partly to keep me from moving home, but mostly because they always tried to do anything they could to help me. They took care of Samantha while I was working long hours when she was growing up. We lost my dad in 2007 and my mom in 2017, but the work ethic they taught me and the strengths they gave me will never die.
My kind and generous in-laws, Judge and Mrs. Sam and Ruth Crow, have made me proud to have become a Crow. We lost Ruth in 2016, but her can-do influence on my life lives on.
Dan Crow and I enjoy living in our hometown. We are proud to be Topekans, and we are very (very, very) involved in the community as volunteers and in social groups. We feel lucky to live in a lively city full of old friends AND we are lucky to have jobs that bring us new friends. Our neighbors in Potwin Place are like an extended family. Dan plays golf and I read books. Together, Dan and I host international high school and college students and interns to our absolute delight. We have found that those young people who have the courage, ambition, drive, and initiative to study and work away from their homes, families, and countries self-select to be some of the most thrilling people we have ever met. We are honored to try to help them pursue their dreams. We have lost count how many young people have used our home as their temporary home.
A friend once described me as